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Sugimoto, Taku / Stefan Thut: Taku Sugimoto / Stefan Thut (Ftarri)

Two performers related by Wandelweiser--guitarist Taku Sugimoto and cellist Stefan Thut--met at oslo10 in Switzerland to perform two concerts with one composition from each: Stefan Thut uses chance operations changing the music's direction at the prompt of rolled dice; Sugimoto use sustained notes and ebow in a subtle but effective sound work.

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product information:

Label: Ftarri
Catalog ID: ftarri-984
Squidco Product Code: 26167

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardstock Sleeve , sealed
Recorded at oslo10, in Basel, Switzerland, on March 21st, 2015.


Taku Sugimoto-guitar

Stefan Thut-cello

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Artist Biographies:

"Taku Sugimoto is a Japanese guitarist.

He initially gained attention in the late 1990s for his restrained, melodic playing, unusual in the world of free improvisation. Critic Bruce Russell describes this era of Sugimoto's music by writing: "Sugimoto is perhaps the pre-eminent stylist on the guitar ... He brings a golden glow to every session he partakes in, having abandoned amped up noise in favour of a much more introspective and calligraphic style of play."

Around 2002 his music became increasingly abstract, all but eliminating melody and featuring extended periods of silence.

He has collaborated with other Japanese musicians involved in the Onkyo movement, such as Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. He has also collaborated with musicians from European free improvisation scenes, notably trombonist Radu Malfatti and guitarist Keith Rowe."

-Wikipedia (

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"Composer and cellist. Born 1968, resident in Solothurn (CH). Trained at the Lucerne Conservatory and at Boston University School of Music.

Most of his scores are to be rendered by performers; some scores serve as a template in field recording and sound art. In his compositions he operates with relatively determined open systems. Scores were realized at the Kunstraum Düsseldorf (2007), at Kid Ailack Concert Hall, Tokio (2007/09) and at the Diapason Gallery, New York (2010) among other locations. As interpreter he has premiered solo-pieces by Jürg Frey, Radu Malfatti, Tim Parkinson, James Saunders, Taku Sugimoto, Taku Unami and Manfred Werder and he has performed with the ensemble incidental music in Berlin, Brussels, London and Zurich."

-Edition Wandelweiser (

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track listing:

1. Ten Strings, 1-24 ~ Mada 49:19
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Guitarist, composer and improviser Taku Sugimoto frequently performs overseas as well as in Japan. He's also a member of the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, which consists of five Japanese musicians. Stefan Thut is a Swiss cellist and composer. Both Sugimoto and Thut are known as unique performers and composers, and both have close ties with the contemporary classical Wandelweiser group. The two have a long association, performing together when Sugimoto visits Switzerland and when Thut comes to Japan. Sugimoto and Thut performed in Geneva and Basel during Sugimoto's 2015 European tour. (They'd previous collaborated in larger formations, but this was their first duo performance.) The concert in Basel on March 21 is documented on this CD. The duo of Thut (cello) and Sugimoto (guitar) performed Thut's 2015 composition "Ten Strings, 1-24" (which includes the sound of rolling dice) and Sugimoto's 2014 composition "Mada." The two pieces (each about 25 minutes long) are presented here as a single 49-minute track instead of separate tracks. (Thut's piece is heard before Sugimoto's.) Each work displays the special character of these two highly individual composers, whose performances on this collaboration album are endlessly fascinating."-Ftarri

Three discs (well, four actually) [1 | 2 | 3] of duet improvisations, each involving a Japanese musician playing with a European musician. I started with the one that has Taku Sugimoto on guitar and Stefan Thut on cello, partly because you have to start somewhere (obviously), but also because I haven't heard much new music from Sugimoto in quite some time. Maybe a decade or so ago he seemed more active when it came to releasing music on CD. In March 2015 he played two concert with Swiss cello player Stefan Thut, and they both wrote a piece that included scores; for Thut it was about chance operations and in Sugimoto's piece "the concreteness is manifest as a geometric shape with its own logic". On this disc we find the Basel recording and both pieces are presented as one. Each lasts about twenty-five minutes and it's first Thut and then Sugimoto. Both have ties to the Wandelweiser group, which may be an indication of what to expect; music that is very quiet and has quite a bit of silence between whatever sparse notes are played. The two pieces are quite different. Sugimoto's piece is more about sustaining sounds, on the cello and the ebow on the guitar, but this is all very soft indeed. In Thut's piece we hear the rolling of dice, a pause and a performed short action before the dice are rolled again. By making the dice an integral part of the piece they add an additional sound source and every time the dice are rolled you know something new is going to happen, somehow being however very small. I wish it were all a bit louder, because this sort of quietness asks quite a bit of one's concentration, rewarding as it is."-Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Get additional information at Vital Weekly
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Stringed Instruments
Guitarists, &c.

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